The long-term management and disposal of radioactive waste requires input from intensive research and development programmes. Nagra carries out a significant proportion of its research work together with partners from both Switzerland and abroad. Site-specific field investigations are carried out to clarify the suitability of potential repository sites. Comprehensive research is also conducted on the safety of future geological repositories, suitable host rock formations and the functioning of the engineered safety barriers. The data required can be obtained through laboratory studies, experiments in underground rock laboratories and investigation of comparable natural processes and conditions (natural analogues).
Research and development activities consist mainly of three components: laboratory studies, tests in underground rock laboratories and investigation of natural analogues. This work can be carried out independently of any specific repository site.